The Cherry Hinton Stakes, sponsored by Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, was initially run in 1947 and is one of Europe’s top summer contests for juvenile fillies. A number of Cherry Hinton Stakes winners have gone on to excel later in their careers over a variety of distances.
Great Fun landed the inaugural running in 1947 for trainer Cecil Boyd-Rochfort and jockey Harry Carr.
Charlie Smirke was certainly the jockey to follow in the early years of the contest, as he rode four winners in five years aboard Ballisland (1948), Diableretta (1949), Marteline (1950), and Omelia (1952, in a dead-heat with Pirouette).
Sweet Solera was victorious in 1960. Trained by Reg Day and ridden by Bill Rickaby, the daughter of Solonaway went on to collect the 1000 Guineas and Oaks the following season. The filly is remembered at Newmarket with a Group Three named in her honour run on the July Course in August.
Pia, the 1966 Cherry Hinton Stakes heroine, went on to win the Oaks in 1967, while Mysterious in 1972 emulated Sweet Solera by collecting both the 1000 Guineas and Oaks the following season.
Another outstanding winner was Mrs Penny in 1979. The Ian Balding-trained filly crossed over to the Rowley Mile to win the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes later in the season while, as a three-year-old, she finished third in the 1000 Guineas, won the French Oaks and Prix Vermeille and finished runner-up to Ela-Mana-Mou in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Diminuendo, the 1987 Cherry Hinton Stakes winner trained by Henry Cecil, also excelled over longer distances later in her career. During her Classic season, she finished third to Ravinella in the 1000 Guineas before going on to win the Oaks at Epsom, Irish Oaks (in a dead-heat with Melodist) and Yorkshire Oaks. She also finished runner-up in the St Leger.
Chimes Of Freedom, also trained by Cecil and successful in 1989, subsequently landed two Group One contests, the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh and Royal Ascot’s Coronation Stakes, while the Clive Brittain-trained Sayyedati in 1992 was one of the toughest fillies of recent years.
She won the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes at two, while the following season she collected the 1000 Guineas and the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville, when she got the better of the colts. As a five-year-old, she added another Group One success to her CV when taking the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood and also finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
In more recent years, the best winners have included Wannabe Grand in 1998, who later in the season tasted Group One success in the Cheveley Park Stakes and finished runner-up to Wince in the 1999 1000 Guineas.
The best recent winner was Attraction in 2003. Trained by Mark Johnston, the filly was unbeaten in all her five starts as a two-year-old and won her first three races as a three-year-old – the 1000 Guineas, Irish 1,000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes – all Group One contests. Later in the season she returned to Newmarket for a fourth Group One victory in the Sun Chariot Stakes, while she ended her career as a four-year-old in 2005 with a final Group One victory in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.
Richard Hannon saddled his second winner of the race in 2004, when Jewel In The Sand justified favouritism under Richard Hughes, while the following year, the Brian Meehan-trained Donna Blini landed a 12/1 surprise under Michael Kinane.
The 2006 renewal went to the Jeremy Noseda-trained Sander Camillo, who was sold for 3.2 million guineas as a broodmare in December, 2007.
Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien gained his first success in the race in 2007, when You’resothrilling, a full-sister to Giant’s Causeway, put in a fantastic performance to win by a length. In 2008, Mick Channon was another trainer experiencing a first victory in the race when saddling Please Sing.
Clive Brittain enjoyed a third success in 2009 when Misheer got the better of Albany Stakes winner Habaayib under Neil Callan. The filly headed across to the Rowley Mile for the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes later in the season and ran well to take second behind champion juvenile filly Special Duty.
Pictured: Mick Channon